Alentejo Wine and Artisan Cheese in Arraiolos:
We came to Arraiolos to admire the town’s famous Tapetes Arraiolos (Arraiolos carpet) and as part of the visit, we were treated to wine and cheese tasting in the Praça Lima e Brito, Arraiolos town square.
Praça Lima e Brito is quite a peaceful place with the Arraiolos Town Hall building, a dancing fountain and a couple of churches and historic houses located on the square. All the activity seemed to concentrated outside the cafes where groups of visitors were enjoying some food and drink.
Wine and Cheese Tasting
As we sat under the shade of large umbrellas in the square, the people at CofeeSquare catered for the wine and cheese tasting. Bottles of red wine, baskets of bread, plates of salamis and cheese were polished off as quickly as they were served. The wine and cheese tasting turned out to be a feeding frenzy which quite surprised me as lunch as not so long ago. But, the people at the CofeeSquare cafe did a fine job in feeding the hungry masses and I thought that they got a much hungrier crowd than they had bargained for. Sadly for the Arraiolos carpet shops, there seems to be more people enjoying the food and drinks than carpet shopping.
Alentejo Wine and Artisan Cheese
There has been a significant number of quality wines produced in the region in recent times, but the wine that was served to us was the Moiras Tinto Frutado, a fruity, cheap but dependable Alentejo red. One of the artisan cheeses that we had was the Queijo Ovelha Curado from Monte da Vinha. This creamy cheese was delicious. Monte da Vinha is a dairy farm in Vimieiro near Arraiolos. Their cheeses are produced manually and without additives. Even the coagulant is natural. An interesting bit of information for me was that the sheep’s milk cheese are coagulated with thistle to give it a pure flavour.
The Alentejo region has some fine food and cuisine for visitors to the area, but on our quick visit the cheese and wine were all that we tasted.